Saturday, April 5, 2008

Elder Rasband Speaks

Elder Ronald Rasband spoke at this morning's General Conference session. Elder Rasband has ties to Oregon as a supervising seventy over the Northwest area. He spoke on blessings that have come to him through his service and specifically mentioned Puno, Peru. He told a story about a lake by Puno where, several years ago, he visited the few members of the Church. They had built their homes on a man made island and asked Elder Rasband to bless it.

I couldn't help but think of Sean, who will be serving in an area just north of there soon. He will have so many opportunities to serve and to bless, as he wanders through jungles, over mountains and along scenic rivers, all to find the people in Peru who have been prepared to listen to the restored gospel.

As exciting as all of this is, I am in awe and stand in humility at the grandness of this work. There are over 50,000 of these young men, women and couples all over the world, engaged in this same cause. They are in different countries, speaking different languages and have different experiences. But they all share the same purpose and serve the same Lord. So as much as this means to the Layton family, it is only a small drop in a large pool. Each of these missionaries have their own story to tell. Each is equally important. This is the Lord's work.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

AP Newswire

I know it looks like a cartoon, but this is actually an AP photo from the last missionary sent to serve in the jungles of Peru. No worries though...he is fine, although he did have to pull out six poisonous darts from his backpack (hidden from this view). No word yet on this Elder's companion.
We're fairly certain that Elder Layton will be wearing a large backpack. He is also very, very fast. But please don't tell Brenda about this post.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More on the Call...

No, your head is not leaning to the left. In this day of amazing technology, we still can't scan things in straight. Yesterday Sean forwarded the documents that came with his call to serve in Peru. This is the map of his mission territory (the shaded area). If you click the map you will be able to see it in a larger view.
At first glance you may not notice the fact that there are actually two geographic areas in the Peru Lima North Mission. The first is a segment of Lima itself. It shows up as the small "splotch" on the coast. But most of the territory is inland.
Look at the legend at the bottom. I estimated that from one point to another, his mission is nearly one thousand miles across. That's a huge geographical area for one mission. And it doesn't appear that it is due to a lack of members or growth. It simply appears that most of the mission is so remote. I could be wrong on that, but I'll have to wait for more information from Elder Layton in the months to come.
Here's an interesting fact. In the upper right hand corner of the mission is a city called "Iquitos". Iquitos has some 400,000 residents and sits in the middle of the jungle. What makes it unique however is that it is supposedly the largest city in the world not accessible by any roads. Access to the city is limited by plane or by boat. It's like a world within a world.